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Clarke’s delight as Harold Wood see off local rivals Upminster

16:38 15 July 2014

More celebrating for Harold Wood captain Tom Clarke (centre) and his team (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

More celebrating for Harold Wood captain Tom Clarke (centre) and his team (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Harold Wood captain Tom Clarke admitted he won’t be forgetting his side’s 24-run victory over Upminster in the Essex League Premier Division anytime soon.

Wood and Upminster played out an entertaining, low scoring affair on Saturday as 155 played 121 and fittingly the game ended in spectacular style as Richard Brabner grabbed a hat-trick to seal another win for Clarke’s men.

The home captain was delighted with the result and especially pleased for Brabner, he said: “It was a bit of a strange one but a really good game and one we will remember for a long time.

“Richard finished the match off with a hat-trick. He has played for the club since he was 12 and has taken about four hat-tricks in his career.

“But it was brilliant for him and the club to be able to get one in the Premier Division.”

After losing the toss and being put into bat, Wood were struggling at 91-7 but a 48-run partnership between Colin Sher (60) and skipper Clarke (27) helped their side post 155.

Clarke knew they needed quick wickets in their reply and though Shahbaz Khan (1-34) and Hamza Ikram (1-17) duly delivered, when Upminster’s Billy Gordon and Reece O’Connell were at the crease it seemed like the game was going away from the hosts.

The Wood captain always remained confident, though, adding: “They got to around 70-3 but the runs were never flowing so I was always confident that if we got one wicket we could get a couple.”

And an excellent over from Mahruf Chowdhury (4-31) ensured Wood got a stranglehold back on the game and their skipper felt it was a game changing moment.

“Chowdhury came on and bowled a really good over,” Clarke said.

“He got two wickets but could have had three, he bowled somebody off a no-ball but he got that batsman out the next over anyway. It was a game changing moment.”

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